North Texas Daily

The Dose: Disney’s ‘Born in China’ explores different animal lives

The Dose: Disney’s ‘Born in China’ explores different animal lives

The Dose: Disney’s ‘Born in China’ explores different animal lives
May 01
14:41 2017

Robert Warren | Staff Writer

The latest Disney documentary, “Born in China,” opened in theaters on Friday, April 21. It explores the lives of three animal families through different seasons, and is using the funds from its opening weekend to benefit the World Wildlife Fund and help protect wild pandas and snow leopards.

Disney takes a humanistic approach to address the animals where viewers connect to the elements of the animal that are familiar. By transitioning through the three families, we see the emotional connections each of the animals has to its own family.

Looking into the panda family, viewers see a baby panda named Mei Mei that wants to get out into the world and explore. The mother is protective of her panda and pulls her back, quite literally, from the tree Mei Mei tries to climb until she is fully ready to move on her own. Mei Mei keeps trying to get out into the world and see life beyond her little area. It isn’t until a panda can fully climb a tree that it is ready to be out on its own.

Baby Mei Mei is quite the catch, rolling as she tries to simply explore and sticking out her tongue so viewers have that “aw” sort of moment. Viewers also learn interesting facts about the animals, such as how a panda eats 40 pounds of bamboo a day.

In this film, we see how monkeys cause trouble when they don’t get the attention they want. One of the younger monkeys, Tao Tao, wants the attention of his parents, but they are focused on their newborn baby monkey. Jealous that he is not getting the attention his baby sister receives, Tao Tao decides to seek that attention elsewhere by breaking branches with a group of monkeys called the lost boys.

Then there is the snow leopard family in the top mountains in the Tibetan Plateau, the largest plateau on Earth. Mother Dawa goes to the top of the mountain plateaus to stay with her family. This is her home. Other snow leopards want to take her home away from her family, and Dawa must try and keep it. This is the struggle of the snow leopard.

In order to feed their families, snow leopards have to fight other animals and kill them. In order to feed her kids, Dawa has to do this, and while this may be a success for her if she wins, the other animal has to deal with a lost son, daughter or family member. This is one of the humanistic situations that the movie explores.

The documentary also discusses other animals while telling the three main stories, such as the chiru, or a Tibetan antelope. Female chirus leave the males for months after mating and take off, then they return with baby chiru and can’t remember who their male mate was. They have to sniff around and so the males begin trying to impress the females as they did when they first met. After this, baby chirus learn to walk in thirty minutes.

Transiting through the seasons, this movie shows the struggles the animals fact while battling nature, including their emotions and the connections they make.

In a cute and adorable movie that taps into your emotions with baby animals, it really encapsulates how relatable animals are emotionally to humans. “Born in China” mentions that in Chinese legend, the crane carries the soul of the departed to heaven. That is what this movie does. This movie allows you to depart from your crazy life and be carried away to another life, be it the life of pandas, snow leopards or golden snub-nosed monkeys.

Featured Image: Pandas are only one of many species explored in Disney’s “Born in China” documentary. Ben Wallis.

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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